Wat Ming Muang is a 700 yr old temple located on Trirat Road in central Chiang Rai.
Built in 1262 during the reign of King Mengrai The Great. His wife, Queen Devi Usapayako, ordered the 1st renovation of the temple and frequently made a royal visit to pay homage to the main Buddha statue enshrined in the temple’s wooden vihara.
The temple is also a memorial to King Mengrai’ s mother, Queen Chommuang (aka QueenThep Kamkayai). King Mengrai is known to have visited the temple at least twice a year – once on the full moon night of Visaka, and the other on Loi Krathong day. In praying to the Lord Buddha, the King took a clockwise procession arounf the sacred pagoa in which his mothers ashes were kept.
Previously, the temple was called Wat Chang Moop – “Temple of the Crouching Elephant” is the literal translation.
This was also the location of one of the City Gates of ancient Chiang Rai, “Phratu Padang.” In those times, there was a significant Burmese (Shan/Tai Yai) population which accounts for the architectural style of the temple.
Not until 1970 was the temple officially enlisted as a Buddhist temple of Thailand. At that time, it was renamed Wat Ming Muang, meaning The Auspicious Temple of the City.